Today’s find: In search of humility

It’s rather unseemly to write about humility, don’t you think? I mean, really: If you’re writing something you expect another person to read, you’re inevitably drawing attention to yourself, right?

Where’s the humility in that?

So instead of sharing my thoughts on the subject (which was a big-time theme in the Sunday readings), I thought I’d shamelessly steal—and share—the thoughts of another: Brian Doyle, whose brief essay on humility appears in the current edition of Give Us This Day.

Doyle describes humility as something of a process; indeed, the journey to the final frontier.

To lose all hint of cocky and shard of arrogant, all command, all surety, all control and thirst for same, and return finally to sheer abashed wonder, the blessed country in you lived as a child; that is the work.

To be abashed but not afraid; to work with all your soul to bring your peculiar and particular tools to bear against the darkness, but know that your tools are borrowed and must be returned; to love with all your heart, but possess nothing and no one; that is the work.

To know that your everything is nothing without the love that spoke you into being; that is the work.

To do, with all your might, and expect a roaring nothing in return except the pleasure of having wrought well; that is the work.

To savor, to sip, to admire, to celebrate, to sing, to fight for, to stand up for, to see, to witness, to reach for each other and haul each other back to the trembling shore; that is the work.

I tell you nothing you do not know. It’s not money and power and esteem and fame and cars and boats and houses and lauds and honors. It’s how hard you worked for nothing the world can give you. The only reward is love, in its uncountable forms. That is exaltation. If we can surrender enough of us, we will find all of Him. He was waiting, with infinite patience, with a smile made of all the light there ever was, or shall be.

For me, at least, the journey continues. It’s always a struggle, it seems, to surrender enough of me to find Him. But on occasion, I have seen that brilliant smile Doyle writes about. And it does in fact keep me pressing on toward the light.

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2 thoughts on “Today’s find: In search of humility

  1. Pingback: Today’s find: In search of humility | youngfunandcatholic

  2. lisamarie63703

    I love this essay, John and it fits my struggle as well. Using the talents God gave me and trying to lose the “me” and allow the “Thee” to shine through. God knows I can’t handle it yet…yet He gives me opportunities to shine here and there, like sun rays on a cloudy day, just enough to remind me to thank Him quickly, then disappear as my ego starts taking over!

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